Connect with us

Politics

Hungary’s top diplomat praises Trump on NATO push, contrasts against Obama-era ‘lecturing’

Published

on

Hungary’s top diplomat praises Trump on NATO push, contrasts against Obama-era ‘lecturing’

NEW YORK — Hungary’s top diplomat, in an interview with Fox News, praised President Trump’s push for NATO partners to boost military spending — and said the administration’s treatment of Central European countries as allies represents a stark contrast from what he called the “lecturing” of the Obama years.

“Since the current administration has been in power, the relationship has totally changed and the relationship is based on mutual respect which used not to be the case,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Fox News. “So before this administration took office, ‘lecturing’ was basically the right expression to describe our relationship.”

HUNGARY JOINS US IN WITHDRAWING FROM UN GLOBAL MIGRATION AGREEMENT

Szijjarto’s comments come just days after Hungary and the U.S. signed a new Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA). A State Department official told Fox News that the new agreement means the U.S. and Hungary will be “better positioned to meet and overcome current and future challenges that threaten stability in the region and beyond.”

Szijjarto hailed the agreement as a “clear signal” of the change that has come to the U.S.-Hungarian relationship since Trump entered the White House.

It is not difficult to see why the two countries have grown closer during the Trump administration. Both Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Trump have won elections running campaigns heavy on nationalism and tough on illegal immigration (Hungary has built two border fences since 2015) — sometimes to anger from international bodies such as the United Nations and European Union. Hungary was one of the countries to join the U.S. in withdrawing from the U.N. global pact on migration last year.

Both Orban and Trump have been criticized for their immigration policies, while liberal groups in Hungary have alleged that the Orban government is eroding judicial independence and cracking down harshly on political opposition groups — including passing a “Stop Soros” package of laws aimed at curbing the influence of Hungarian-American left-wing billionaire George Soros in the country.

Szijjarto indicated there are similarities between the opposition facing Trump and the Hungarian government.

“We understand the global liberal political elite and global liberal media hate your president, they hate what he has been doing, but they hate what we have been doing as well,” he said.

Szijjarto, who has met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo multiple times in the last year, gave the example of an early visit to D.C. after he was appointed foreign minister in 2014 as an example of the “lecturing” relationship from the U.S. during the Obama administration. He said that on that visit, he was not greeted by Secretary of State John Kerry but by then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who he said confronted him with a list of domestic reforms.

“She basically threw a paper on the table when we had the negotiations … where some instructions were written how we should change our constitution, how we should change our regulation regarding media, constitutional court, churches, so on and so forth and she told me if we could comply with these instructions or advices then it would be possible to speak about enhancing the bilateral political cooperation,” he said.

“I mean, this is a clear interference into domestic issues, telling another country what to decide,” he added.

HUNGARY’S PRO-TRUMP, POPULIST GOVERNMENT PUSHES SOROS CRACKDOWN

A former senior Obama administration official disputed Szijjarto’s account, telling Fox News that the list was a response to Hungarian government complaints that it was not receiving higher-level engagement from the administration, such as a meeting with Kerry.

The Hungarian government, the official said, indicated it was willing to work with the Obama administration on U.S. concerns about what was going on in Hungary domestically.

“It was an opportunity for them to address those concerns, it wasn’t a demand sheet or a rap sheet,” the official said.

The official also said that the administration continued to work closely on a number of areas, including NATO issues, energy diversification and the crises in Crimea and Ukraine: “It wasn’t like we iced them out, but it was simply that we weren’t going to spend a lot of time endorsing the regime with higher-level engagement amid that democratic backsliding.”

But whatever happened at the meeting, there can be little doubt that the Trump administration’s approach to Hungary has been friendlier, something Szijjarto said has strengthened the U.S. alliance in the region.

“We are very happy that this administration looks at us Central Europeans as allies instead of lecturing us how to accommodate our life,” he said, calling it a “totally different approach” from the previous administration.

Szijjarto said Hungary has no issue with Trump’s push for nations to meet commitments to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense.

“We think that it was absolutely legitimate from his perspective to argue for nation’s commitments to be fulfilled as soon as possible,” he said, adding that Hungary had already met that commitment.

Trump’s aggressive stance with NATO allies, including reports that he has considered withdrawing from the alliance, has led to criticism he is weakening NATO.

But Szijjarto’s remarks echo those of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who, in a speech to Congress this month, said that Trump’s push to increase defense spending made the alliance stronger.

“Allies must spend more on defense. This has been the clear message from President Trump,” Stoltenberg said. “And this message is having a real impact.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Stoltenberg told lawmakers that European allies and Canada have spent an additional $41 billion in the last two years and that by the end of 2020, that figure will rise to $100 billion.

“That money will allow us to invest in new capabilities our armed forces need, including advanced fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, missile defense and surveillance drones,” he said. “This is good for Europe and it is good for America.”

Politics

Hundreds of decks of playing cards arrive for Washington state lawmaker who criticized nurses

Published

on

By

Washington state lawmaker riles nurses by saying that some spend 'considerable' time playing cards

The Washington state senator who suggested that some nurses “play cards” during a “considerable” portion of their shifts received more than 600 packages of playing cards Tuesday as backlash over her remarks continued to grow.

The United Parcel Service location in Tumwater, Wash., said that it received 667 packages of playing cards addressed to state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, after an open letter criticizing her remarks circulated on Facebook last week and included Walsh’s P.O. box address, Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported.

“You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway,” the letter read. “I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?”

WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKER RILES NURSES BY SAYING SOME SPEND ‘CONSIDERABLE’ TIME PLAYING CARDS

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, angered nurses by commenting in a speech that some nurses may spend a lot of time playing cards in rural hospitals. (Associated Press)

The letter went on to predict that after the next election cycle Walsh may find herself with “plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with.”

Walsh first drew criticism from nursing professionals while debating a bill last week that would require uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses and would also provide mandatory overtime protections for them.

She pushed for an amendment that would exclude hospitals with fewer than 25 beds from the provision, arguing that such small facilities struggle to provide 24-hour care as it is.

“I would submit to you that those (small hospital) nurses probably do get breaks,” Walsh said. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Despite the bill being passed with Walsh’s amendment, her ill-received comments sparked a flurry of social media posts mocking her.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Walsh addressed the issue Monday, apologizing to those who were offended and saying she would spend a day shadowing a nurse throughout his or her 12-hour shift.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday. I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context – but still they crossed the line.”

In 2012, some comments by Walsh on a different subject also went viral, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported. That year Walsh bucked most other members of the state GOP by speaking out in support of same-sex marriage. The state’s House subsequently backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Continue Reading

Politics

Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

Published

on

By

Bernie Sanders wrong about prisoners and voting, ex-con released under Trump reform law says

The first man released from prison under President Trump’s criminal justice reform law reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., saying that prisoners should be permitted to vote by noting the “logistical” problems of allowing prisoners serving a sentence to vote and backing prisoners who served their time to have their rights restored.

“I do know while you’re incarcerated you do lose some of your liberties. But my thing is, once a person has been completely released and they paid their debt to society and they are back in society actually functioning, paying taxes, then they should have their rights restored to vote,” Matthew Charles, who was released from prison under the First Step Act, said on Fox News’  “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

KAMALA HARRIS BACKTRACKS, NOW SAYS CRIMINALS LIKE BOSTON BOMBER ‘SHOULD BE DEPRIVED’ OF RIGHT TO VOTE

“But during the period they’re incarcerated, it’s going to be like a complex issue because of the logistics. You got people incarcerated in states that they actually are not from.”

Sanders opened himself to scrutiny this week after saying that not only should incarcerated prisoners be permitted to vote but that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should also be permitted to vote.

“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they will be punished. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders said Monday on a CNN Town Hall.

Trump’s re-election campaign called out Sanders Wednesday, describing his idea “deeply offensive.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“The extremity and radicalism of the 2020 Democrats knows no bounds,” Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News.

“Giving imprisoned terrorists, sex offenders, and murderers the right to vote is an outrageous proposal that is deeply offensive to innocent victims across this country, some of whom lost their lives and are forever disenfranchised by the very killers that 2020 Democrats seek to empower,” she said.

Fox News’ Sally Persons and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Politics

George Conway praises Hillary Clinton for her op-ed on Mueller probe: ‘I’m with her’

Published

on

By

George Conway calls Trump a cancer that needs to be removed in blistering op-ed

The husband of top White House official Kellyanne Conway expressed solidarity with Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post urging Congress to pursue the findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, telling his followers on Twitter, “I’m with her.”

In the piece published Wednesday afternoon, Clinton called for holding President Trump “accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law” but insisted that choosing between “immediate impeachment or nothing” was a “false choice.” She also referred to the Mueller report as “road map” for Congress.

“It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map leads — to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not,” Clinton wrote. “Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.”

George Conway, who has made a name for himself as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, praised the 2016 presidential candidate on Twitter and highlighted a portion from her op-ed, where she acknowledged that some may say she’s “not the right messenger.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Perhaps so. Probably so. But if she’s with the Constitution, I’m with her,” Conway tweeted.

Conway regularly slams the president and repeatedly has questioned his mental fitness. The president fired back on Twitter last month.

Continue Reading

Categories

Recent Posts

Like Us On Facebook

Trending